Maria Kirilenko stepped into a pro-American and pro-McHale crowd last night. Kirilenko's focus was impressive as she dominated the match despite the partisan crowd.
Kirilenko's Strong Focus
What impressed me was the strong concentration and discipline Kirilenko demonstrated throughout the match. She had a routine that she stuck with between points. And, she continually urged herself to be aggressive and stay on her young opponent. In many ways Kirilenko's attitude reminded of Sharapova. In fact, it was better than Sharapova's during her barrage of unforced errors in the 3rd round against Pennetta.
Kirilenko came to battle no - doubt about it. Check out this look she is giving McHale during the match.
Look of a Champion
The body language exudes confidence. Furthermore, her face shows determination and willingness to dig deep. Kirilenko was making sure that McHale knew that she was going to give her nothing. McHale was going to have to come and take the match from Kirilenko which in the end she was unable to do. This focus again came in the face of playing against the crowd, an American opponent, at night, in Ashe Stadium and trying to get past the 3rd round for the first time at the US Open.
Focused is the best word to describe Maria Kirilenko's 3rd round win over Christina McHale. Every player including many on the Tour could learn from the focus and attitude Kirilenko brought in to the night match.